Chael Sonnen Reveals Drop To Middleweight, Says He Wants Vitor Belfort Next


It appears that Chael Sonnen will not be retiring after the Shogun fight, rather he will fight on at his former home at 185lbs. regardless of the outcome against Rua. Sonnen revealed the news on Fuel TV’s ‘UFC Tonight’, confirming that he had indeed signed a five-fight extension with the UFC.

Earlier this month Sonnen had appeared at a fan expo in the lead up to UFC 162 in Las Vegas, saying:

“My contract with the UFC has expired. So I went to Dana White, and I went to him with a list of my demands because he’s getting my contract together. He thought this was a gag, but I was being serious because it’s not all about money with me.”

Now I’m wondering what Sonnen’s plans will be at 185lbs., because he had two title shots during his first tenure at MW. He beat guys like Michael Bisping, Brian Stann, Nate Marquardt and very nearly beat Anderson Silva. So what’s next for the American Gangster at Middleweight?

“After I get done with Shogun, I’m returning to middleweight. There’s two guys that I want to get matched up with—first is Vitor Belfort because he’s awesome and on an incredible roll, and the second is Wanderlei [Silva], who I’ve now found out is going back to middleweight. The landscape has completely changed. I got a new contract, and I’m returning to the weight class.”

Sonnen also revealed that he has moved training to Reign MMA, where Mark Munoz is running the show. If he is taking his preparation for Rua seriously, this could be quite an interesting match up.

Given his lacklustre performances of late, I had almost written Sonnen off completely. But a change of camps, and obvious aspirations for fights in a better division has me thinking twice. Mark Munoz is a beast and if he trains guys like he fights, Sonnen might be in the best shape we’ve seen him in for years.

UFC on Fox Sports 1: Boston will be a big night for the UFC. Anyone think he has a chance of beating Rua?

  • Sonnen is nothing more than a PR showman at this point. Takes stabs at anyone holding a belt, fights willingly and steps up, yes, but only to get embarrassed. Time to retire, he's going nowhere.

    • Yeah, I don't buy his hype (anymore) either and his record proves him to be bogus.

      That said, he's a case-study to other fighters on how to promote themselves and get "known", which seems to be the operative catch-phrase these days. As Liddell said (paraphrasing)…get known, get paid. It's that simple. Sonnen is an expert on that subject. No fighter in UFC history has ever parlayed so little Octagon achievement, into so much financial success and notoriety.

      For me, I moved on post his first fight with Anderson. The combination of TRT, the fraud conviction and constantly going on about things that one, he can't do and has never followed through on and secondly, the absurdness of some of the statements has simply made him look foolish, IMO.

      At some point, rhetoric must meet up with action and Sonnen is a constant face-plant on that subject. His appearance on TUF is a good example. He sold it as a nasty rivalry with Jones and that he couldn't stand him etc. Yet, the moment he walked into the gym his was Jones's buddy. He immediately changed his tune and started espousing JBJ's qualities as a coach, fighter and human being.

      I don't buy his "act" anymore and that's exactly what it is, an act.

      I don't know if it's time to retire, but 185 has become a much tougher place in the last couple of years and he's not a serious contender in the division.

    • The guy wants to fight, let him fight. That's what he loves to do, regardless of being a champion or not. He is damn entertaining and he brings it. As far as being a douchebag, ya he probably is, but if anything you should be happy to watch him get his a-s-s beat since you dislike him so much.

      • Satellite, if you read my comments, no where in there did I either say I disliked Sonnen or that he should retire. All I said, was that I'm not buying the hype any more and that he's not as good as he thinks he is and his record proves it.

  • Of course he wants Belfort, why not?

    He notes that Vitor's on a roll, what a genius. More to the point, Sonnen is not. Further still, he's a (lucky to be) ranked fighter barely holding on to a #9 spot and calling out the #1 contender in the division (Silva and his re-match notwithstanding), it's a joke. it's classic BS Sonnen and on the point of his ranking, I don't think he should be ranked and I'd have Tim Kennedy ranked before I'd have Sonnen ranked.

    I think the subject of him fighting Belfort becomes even more laughable, should Sonnen loose to Rua, which I believe will happen and then extends his loosing streak to 3.

    If Belfort is smart, he'll ignore Sonnen and let him "tweet-off" to anyone who still might be listening. Belfort's destiny lays in fighting better, more accomplished fighters and ones with serious ranking and in fights that can put money in his pockets and a belt around his waist. Chael Sonnen doesn't fit into those plans or meet the criteria.

    Sonnen should try and chomp-down on Costa Philippou or Ronaldo Souza and see if he can chew on either one of them, before worry about #1 contenders. Sadly for Sonnen, I don't think he'd beat either and would be more apt to be either KO'd or submitted.

    If it doesn't work out, maybe he can go up to heavyweight and call out Cain or JDS.

    • He should go down and fight GSP after this. Then maybe Aldo after that.

      • I was going to mack those cracks, but I thought better of it. Thank you, for having done so, Stiks. 🙂

        • Would be interesting to see how much Belfort has improved getting off his back…..if Vitor didnt KO him first

  • Souza would KO and Submit him at the same time.

  • If sonnen wins his next fight he will probably get this fight.

    • Really Enjoy, why should he get the #1 guy @ 185, when he's ranked #9 and hasn't fought in the division in over a year. Under no circumstances do I see him getting a fight with Belfort, nor does he deserve one.

      • I agree he doesn't deserve it… but u don't see him get it? really?… U must not have been paying attention to Sonnen's run the past couple of years. He gets every f*ckin' body he wants! He talks himself into fights like no other! Did u see him get a shot at Bones after Silva destroyed him?… I'm pretty sure u didn't but it happened… Vitor is no champ and does not have a whole lot of options. Shitty record or not, Sonnen is a big name and big draw which equels big $$$… So if Sonnen beats Shogun… Vitor will probably take this fight as he himself is kinda in limbo at the moment!

        • Experience, I didn't say I didn't see him getting it. That's the point of my comment, that he's the type of hype-fighter that talks himself into bouts he hasn't earned or deserved. That was the finer point, that I was making.

          As to your point about Sonnen being worth money, I would debate that fact. In 2013, I don't know what his performance would be worth on a PPV, but notice he's more on FOX now, then the PPVs'.

          Personally speaking, I wouldn't shell out $50 bucks for a Sonnen fight.

          To the final point, I could care less whether or not he beats Rua, he doesn't deserve Belfort and Vitor should laugh at Sonnen's provocations, by ignoring them.

          As a Belfort fan, I fear not the fight, but rather, the waste of his time. I'd rather see VB kill time at 205 than waste his it with Sonnen. I'd rather see VB take on Philippou or Souza, fighters Sonnen is not calling out, than waste his time with Chael.

          I'd rather see VB take on Tim Boetsch.

          This is nothing but c**p, from a TV Broadcaster and Pizza maker.

          The only thing Sonnen and Belfort have in common would be TRT and if they were to fight, the only reason would be for the UFC TRT belt and Sonnen would get his **s kicked.

          Asking the question Experience, when will people wake up and realize that Sonnen will hype himself into a fight and take a beating for a paycheck.



      • @Brian…Put it this way, if someone can sell more PPVs than Sonnen then they will get the shot at Belfort assuming his title shot is not honoured. UFC will promote Chael vs Brazil bad blood etc. Chael will be saying he beat Bisping so he is higher ranked etc etc. He will talk his way into it and Dana will sell it like a beat up second hand vehicle. Personally I think Chael needs two dominant finishes against top five middleweights before he starts talking. But, if Chael smashes Shogun then comes back and destroys Belfort then a title shot would not be unreasonable against Weidman should he keep his title. Chael desperately needs Silva to evaporate.

        • That's a whole lotta "IF's" but i agree for the most part….

        • Enjoy, you know I love you right?

          I couldn't disagree more and as "Experience" said, that's a whole lot of (implied / inferred) "ifs".

          To think of him fighting Weidman is laughable, IMO. Chris would crush him. LOL!

          In terms of Belfort, I stick by my mantra, he does not deserve or has earned a fight with Belfort and I do not believe the "gate" is there and if it is, it's because of an exciting and finishing Vitor and not a boring, non-finishing Sonnen.

          As to Sonnen getting 2 dominant finishes in the division, I'd say good luck to him. I don't think he can do it and I don't think even beat (the over ranked) Bisping in a re-match.

          The bottom-line on Sonnen @ 185, is that he's a whole lot about a fight that happened way back in 2010. Other than that one fight, what would anybody talk about as Sonnen's amazing MMA record or video highlight reel? Nothing, would be the answer.

          Sonnen has no Belfort moments and he deserves no fight with the #1 contender in, what has become, a stacked division and Sonnen, is not in the stacking.

          Give him a fight with Munoz and see how he does.

          I don't think he'd beat Tim Kennedy.

          Sonnen is all hype. Hype should not be rewarded.

  • I am such a Shogun and Chael fan… I don't want to watch these 2 guys fight…

  • The old saying of "Talk is Cheap" does not apply to Sonnen in regards to getting price fights.

    • "You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can not fool all of the people all of the time."

  • Bunch of ridiculous comments up top.

  • @HunterB=Lol!

  • I think Sonnen will beat Rua, especially if he gets Rua on his back for a long period of time in the 1st round. As for Sonnen vs. Belfort, Why not? So Kennedy vs. Belfort makes sense but Sonnen doesn't?!? I'd take Sonnen last 10 fights record of 6W-4L over Belforts last 10 fight record of 8W-2L. Sonnen lost twice to Silva & went 7 rounds with him winning 6 of them, lost to Jones & Maia. Belfort lost to Silva & Jones, got KTFO in under 3.5 mins vs. Silva & went a little over 3 rounds vs. Jones 15 mins & 54 secs (4th round), but here's his list of wins … James Zikic, Terry Martin, Matt Lindland, Yoshihiro Akiyama = CANS! Anthony Johnson = decent, Rich Franklin, Bisping & Rockhold = impressive! 4 CANS, 1 Decent & 3 Impressive. Sonnen wins …. Paulo Filho (1st LOSS in MMA), Dan Miller (who was 11-1 before he lost to Sonnen), Okami, Marquardt, Brian Stann (who was 3-0 @ MW with 3 finishes, until he fought Sonnen), Bisping. Dan Miller is the ONLY decent opponent he won against, everyone else was Impressive Filho, Okami, Marquardt, Stann & Bisping. NO CANS!!!

    I'd love to see Sonnen vs. Belfort @ MW!